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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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The New Children's Museum is located in downtown San Diego.

Students Create Cardboard Lounge

SDSU students were challenged to design novel seating for the New Children's Museum.

SDSU professor David Fobes’ design students created chairs as part of a class project. Furniture design students do this often as part of their curriculum.

Fobes put the 21 students in five groups and directed them to create chairs that were functional, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing. The catch — they had to be made out of cardboard and withstand daily interaction with children.

“It’s a classic design problem…design and build a chair that they (students) can sit in for 30 minutes, from a single 4’ x 8’ sheet of 100 pound cardboard,” Fobes said.

The chairs were all installed at The New Children’s Museum as part of the current TRASH exhibition that raises awareness about the growing issue of improper waste disposal. Known as the Cardboard Lounge, the seating area will last as long as the cardboard retains its functional viability as seating. It will then be recycled.

The partnership developed as a result of a long-standing professional relationship between Fobes and Tomoko Kuta, the director of education and exhibitions at The New Children’s Museum. She had been a student of Fobes’ in the 90s at Mesa College.

Fobes had the students document the process on a blog, and upon completion, students created a video that shows how successful the installation has already been with children at the museum.

The exhibition opened to the public Nov. 15.